This past weekend provided an opportunity for things to settle down. After all, the Dallas Cowboys kicked quite the hornets’ nest while in Indianapolis at the 2022 NFL Combine.
What did the Cowboys do, exactly? The quick version is that they leaked their intention to move on from Amari Cooper only to turn right around and highlight how important it is for them to retain Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz (who now have leverage against them by way of the Amari news since what goes up must come down). On Sunday a report emerged that people around the NFL thought that defensive end Randy Gregory might not be leaving the team which did offer some sort of confidence, but while this has all been going on another matter has needed addressing.
The seemingly-inevitable release of Amari Cooper is only one of two notably unpopular decisions that Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones may make this offseason. In addition to potentially saying goodbye to their top wide receiver, the Cowboys brain-trust has also been dropping bread crumbs about a potential departure of a pass rusher as well.
On Sunday evening they dropped more than some crumbs. This is about as big as a slice.
The Dallas Cowboys reportedly asked DeMarcus Lawrence to take a pay cut and he allegedly said no, putting his future with the team in doubt
Speaking of slices, it seems that the Cowboys are in the mood for them as they asked DeMarcus Lawrence to slice off a piece of what he is making with them, as in his salary.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys asked Lawrence to take a pay cut. He predictably said no.
Among the Cowboys’ highest-paid players, quarterback Dak Prescott has job security, wide receiver Amari Cooper does not and apparently defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence doesn’t as well.
While team officials are close to releasing Cooper, who will have a $20 million base salary guaranteed if he’s on the roster March 20, Lawrence is in a different situation.
Lawrence is considered the Cowboys’ best pass rusher and most expensive, seeing as he’s scheduled to make $19 million in 2022, which is the second-highest salary on the team. However, multiple sources said the team asked Lawrence to take a pay cut, which he refused.
Normally when a player rejects a pay cut he’s soon to be released.
It is true that releasing Lawrence could save $19M against the salary cap (a post-June 1st designation would leave $8M in dead cap space next season), but at what other cost?
The Cowboys are already on the precipice of watching their top wide receiver walk away. Why would they purposefully, willingly, and consciously do this at the all-important position of pass rusher?
While many will argue that Lawrence is actually not that impactful due to his lack of sack numbers, most would agree that this team is worse without him. Cutting him as well as Amari Cooper in an offseason directly preceding a year where so much is on the line would be unwise.
Stephen Jones and Co. will do their best to sell this as doing what is best for the team considering Lawrence’s pending cap number for this season; however, that conveniently leaves out the responsibility that he has to bear. Lawrence is on the books for a huge contract that he signed in 2019, but that came only after the Cowboys refused to be forward-thinking with his contractual status. They placed the franchise tag on him in 2018, he called their bluff and won, tried to tag him again in 2019, and then he used the leverage he had ad the time to get a big payout. That’s not DeMarcus Lawrence not caring about the team, that’s DeMarcus Lawrence looking out for himself and playing the game better than a group that is supposed to be professionals at this.
This offseason could end up being rather frustrating.
Should the Dallas Cowboys cut DeMarcus Lawrence?
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